Promoting a Savings Culture in Tanzania

October 07, 2015

A 25-year-old entrepreneur is educating young people in her community on the benefits of mobile financial solutions.

Martha Akim wants other farmers and young people in Tunduma, Tanzania, to understand the importance of sound financial management. As an entrepreneurial M-Pesa agent, Martha has been helping customers securely transfer, deposit and withdraw money using their mobile phones for over a year. Now the 25-year-old is focusing on promoting the savings and loan services available through Vodacom’s new application, M-Pawa.

In June, at an M-Pawa training organized by TechnoServe and Vodacom through the Connected Farmer Alliance (CFA), Martha learned how to use the product, register customers and secure a loan. After setting up her own M-Pawa account during the training, Martha has been able to save 150,000 Tanzanian shillings ($67) – the equivalent of one month’s earnings. She is now earning interest on her money for the first time in her life, and can receive microloans through M-Pawa.

This knowledge is what will keep our generation thriving.

Martha Akim, CFA participant

Martha is eager to share the financial literacy concepts she learned through CFA with others. As an M-Pawa agent, it is her responsibility to educate people about the product, and she feels it is especially important to help young people shift their mindset around saving money. “The main challenge in this front is illiteracy as most of them are casual laborers,” she observes. “But when you’re educated you invest in your life. This knowledge is what will keep our generation thriving.”

The Connected Farmer Alliance, a partnership between TechnoServe, Vodafone and United States Agency for International Development (USAID), is leveraging mobile phone-enabled solutions such as M-Pawa to improve the livelihoods of 500,000 smallholder farmers in Kenya, Mozambique and Tanzania. With access to secure and timely financial services, a generation of farmers and entrepreneurs, like Martha, are unlocking new opportunities to transform their lives.